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The word propaganda has always carried the idea government brainwashing for me. The word means very much what it looks like–ideas that are propagated. This can be via print, video, audio or any other medium.

In Spanish the word simply means advertising. While this could be any medium, I have only heard the word used for printed matter. What we would call handbills, fliers, bulletins, handouts and other similar advertising is called propaganda in Spanish. There are other words used as well: anuncios and folletos.

Do you know of other meanings for the word propaganda? What about other ways to refer to advertising in Spanish.

  • 1

    In Spain, propaganda can have relation to politics if you say ‘propaganda electoral’ which is just that.
    Other synonym for ‘propaganda’ would be ‘publicidad’, but if you want to look for a difference (very slight by the way) I would say that both ‘anuncios’ and ‘publicidad’ try to sell you something, but ‘folletos’ and ‘propaganda’ can be a commercial type or they can have another aim, for example politics or a ‘folleto’ which your doctor give you to explain you about a sickness you have

    luthien on September 18th, 2007
  • 2

    ‘Folletos’ would be ‘pamphlets’ or ‘tracts’ in English. Usually if they are for general information purposes, like from your doctor or the grocery store, they are called ‘pamphlets.’ If they are religious they have the name ‘tract.’

    It is interesting that they all mean essentially the same type of product, but they have a different name depending on how they are used.

    David on September 18th, 2007


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